The Busó Festival of Mohács (Busójárás or Busó Walking) is the celebration of spring, which can be found in other nations’ traditions, too. It shows similarities with the Rio Carnival, with the Carnival of Venice and also with the traditions of African tribes. It is also the celebration of the Croats living in Mohács. It is held in February, at the end of the Carnival season, starting on a Thursday. The festival falls between the 4th and the 9th of February this year.

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At Mohács, the origin of the tradition is explained with the expulsion of the Turks. According to a legend, the inhabitants of Mohács dressed into scary masks and crossed the Danube with noise-making tools to chase away the Turks.

busójárás - Daily News Hungary

The celebration features Busós (people wearing traditional masks) and includes folk music, masquerading, parades and dancing. The Busós are frightening, devil-like creatures wearing horned wooden masks and big sheepskin costumes and they attempt to scare away winter and welcome spring.

They arrive in rowboats on the Danube and take to the streets making noise with cowbells and wooden noisemakers, bidding farewell to winter. Their helpers are the ‘Jankeles’, whose role is to keep the people (especially the kids) away from the Busós. They slog the children scorning the Busós with bags filled with rags and sawdust.

The Busójárás was inscribed on the UNESCO’s ”List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity” in 2009.

Check out the detailed list of programmes here!

Check out our photo gallery from last year’s festival!

Photo: Daily News Hungary

Copy editor: bm

Source: Daily News Hungary

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